Systems Thinking and Double Loop Learning

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Through the lens of Systems Thinking (ST) the conceptual framework that is well established and well accepted is Double Loop Learning.

PDCA is, arguably, the upper/single loop in Double Loop Learning. So, no matter how you practice PDCA, it fails to take into account the conscious assessment of prevailing mental models. It is precisely that, the tacit examination of mental models, that distinguishes ST from other types of thinking (at least in this dimension of it, I don't mean that to suggest there are no other attributes to ST).

So, there may be many ways of doing PDCA, but none of them are ST based. If you add the lower/double loop to PDCA, what you are practicing is no longer PDCA, it is something else (commonly known in these parts as DLL).

Please have a look at:


Fig. 1 - Single & Double Loop Learning

Fig. 2 - Double Loop Learning Matrix


Questions & Comments to Gene Bellinger

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